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Why I left Silicon Valley

After living in the heart of tech for 7+ years, I decided to move to Colorado! Sharing this post in case others are considering relocating to the Bay Area (note: please evaluate a variety of different perspectives and take stock of how you 'feel' when visiting).

While I absolutely loved the beauty of Cali and experienced a 'star stuck crush' when first relocating (so grateful to have been moved here from Seattle), I personally didn't thrive in Silicon Valley and here are the reasons why:

1. It's a 'work culture' - if you are interested in building your resume, founding a start-up, and being surrounded by people who live and breathe work 24/7, Silicon Valley is THE place to be! (the energy of innovation can be intoxicating and frankly quite alluring). As an HSP (highly sensitive person) however and someone who truly loves to work, I found my nervous system was on constant overdrive. What I realized is that I needed a calmer and more balanced place to support my unique makeup and help me reconnect with JOY (read = engage with my passions outside of work).

2. It's a monolithic culture - pretty much everyone I met in Silicon Valley was a 'techie.' While I absolutely love working with engineers and have been extremely blessed to work in tech, I realized it was time to find a community of people from a variety of different backgrounds. As a head + heart centered individual who grew up in the Midwest, I yearned for less hubris, less intellectual elitism, and more kindness, emotional expression, and personal connections (see below).

3. It's a transactional culture - my saying for Silicon Valley is, "time is money." This translates to being efficient, focusing on the facts, and not wasting people's time (all positives in the workplace). If you are a 'relational' type of person however, the culture outside of work can feel quite isolating and a bit lonely. Friendships are definitely possible but I think people just give up trying after time (this was my experience) because of the transient population and non-stop 'busyness' of pretty much everyone.

If this post resonates with you, thanks for reading and sharing your experience (if you are comfortable!). If this post has been triggering for you or doesn't resonate with you, I completely understand. Please feel free to share why you LOVE Silicon Valley. It's imperative we hear from contrarian viewpoints :-)

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